An Architect's View

CFML, Clojure, Software Design, Frameworks and more...

An Architect's View

Entries Tagged as adobemax09

Adobe MAX 2009 - Day Three

October 08, 2009 ·

I spent most of the morning in the ColdFusion Unconference and most of the afternoon in the 360|Flex Unconference. Kurt Wiersma opened with his presentation about leveraging frameworks. I'd seen this (it's a good preso) so I hung out in the community lounge, mostly talking to potential consulting clients. Josh Adams was up next with a fascinating talk about iPhone development. I'd expected this to be a bit of a cop-out about developing pure web apps for Safari on the iPhone but it actually dug into the whole process of how to use the SDK and some JavaScript frameworks to build native applications (using JS, CSS and HTML instead of Objective-C). Josh also went into the interactions you have to have with Apple to get apps launched on their store and provided lots of insight about problems you can hit and steps you can take to avoid them. Overall, a much more interesting talk than I had expected and enough to make me consider at least trying to build some test apps with the iPhone SDK now! In the afternoon I watched Justin McLean at the 360|Flex Unconference show us how to connect up Flex and simple hardware to create some fun, interesting toys and tools. It's been a long time since I played with electronics and I was a bit shocked as to how small, cheap and powerful things have become! Definitely an entertaining and informative talk! After that I stayed for Elad Elrom's overview of AIR 2.0 features and was very impressed by the native integration coming to AIR apps in 2010. Unfortunately, I don't have access to early builds so Elad's demos were an exquisite tease! :) For the last session of the day I went back to the ColdFusion Unconference where Ray had hoped for a couple of Adobe folks to show up for an open roundtable. Instead we were treated to nine members of the ColdFusion team who fielded all sorts of penetrating questions covering the full spectrum of ColdFusion issues from marketing to education to image to specific technical topics. It was a very good session with a lot of insight being offered into decisions and processes and some very reassuring words about the solid future of ColdFusion at Adobe. And then it was time to say goodbye until MAX returns to Los Angeles in October 2010 (24th-27th). For me, it was good value (the $200 exhibit hall pass provided access to general sessions, sneaks and a lot of networking) and, despite my reservations about the low 'buzz' factor, it was a good experience with some great material presented at the Unconferences. I'd definitely do it again (but still can't imagine paying the full conference ticket to attend regular sessions in addition).

Tags: adobemax09

Adobe MAX 2009 - Day Two

October 08, 2009 ·

The Unconference saw much better attendance on the second day and had a very lively roundtable discussion about the use of / pros and cons of Object-Oriented techniques in CFML which everyone seemed to enjoy. Adobe's Terrence Ryan presented on how to 'sell' ColdFusion to non-ColdFusion developers, Kevin Schmidt suffered some technical issues and ended up just sitting down with us all and talking about using ColdFusion to power Flex. Laura Arguello presented on Mango Blog (rescheduled from Monday) and during her talk I downloaded, installed and configured Mango Blog - it's very impressive and when I rebuild my site (fairly soon - I just need to find the time!), I'll switch from my ancient build of BlogCFC (3.5.2 with a custom Fusebox skin) to Mango Blog instead! Tuesday also saw the Day Two Keynote / General Session and the MAX Awards and Sneak Peeks. The keynote focused mostly on demos of what people are doing with Adobe technologies and some of it was quite impressive. The most eye-catching was the "augmented reality" demo of AKQA's USPS virtual box simulator (see the YouTube video of the simulator for more details). The second most impressive demo was probably FedEx's Custom Critical vehicle tracking system which showcased Flex and LiveCycle: real-time mapping, temperature sensors, live communication with drivers and integration with an AI engine that constantly evaluates the data coming in and makes recommendations to solve problems and tune the business. I hate to admit that I can't remember what else they demoed! The awards were hosted by Mark Hammill in a very brisk, efficient manner with extremely brief video clips of each nominee. A couple of the nominees were truly impressive but it really went by a bit too fast to take much in (which is still better than the awards segment dragging on and on as they have sometimes in the past). The sneaks were therefore all in a Star Wars theme which added humor but got a bit forced at times. Mark Hammill was very good natured about the obvious fact that he clearly had no idea what most of the engineers were talking about during their demos, as he sat on a couch stage left with Ted Patrick (as Obi-Wan), who introduced each demo. The sneaks focused almost entirely on the creative side of the house with the usual stunning demo of an upcoming Photoshop feature (content-aware spot healing / fill). Server side ActionScript made another appearance, this time with seamless debugging across client and server (Adam Lehman later said we should not assume that ColdFusion is not involved in this prototype technology - excuse the double-negative!). Another cool ActionScript debugging sneak was edit/continue (where you can edit/fix code live while debugging and simply continue your debugging session with the newly edited code, without the current quit/rebuild/restart loop. After the sneaks, the Adobe MAX Bash took place with food and drink in four locations around L.A. Live. I spent the evening in the Conga Room listening to the live salsa band (and saw almost no CFers there - no surprise, I guess).

Tags: adobemax09

Adobe MAX 2009 - Day One

October 05, 2009 ·

The opening keynote had its ups and downs today. There was a lot of exciting news about the upcoming Flash Player 10.1 version which brings better memory management (and some impressive automatic reductions in memory usage), better performance on lower-powered devices and multi-touch support - with plenty of cool demos of smart phones and netbooks. It's really the first time Adobe's message about mobile Flash has gotten my attention, mostly because this time the release dates are all "soon" (first half of 2010) as opposed to "coming to Japan next year and eventually to the US". The CEO of Omniture told us lots about himself and how great his company is and completely overstayed his welcome (if you hadn't heard, Adobe is buying Omniture). The "enterprise" section of the keynote was pretty dull as well - but at least the Adobe staffers had the good grace to joke about how unexcited we'd probably be about new LiveCycle stuff. ColdFusion got a few mentions (and applause each time of course) but not much was made of the fact that CF9 was released today. Still, the day two keynote is traditionally when they dive deeper into technology and CF gets more coverage. We also got a quick run through of some upcoming new stuff in some of the Creative Suite products which got lots of oohs and aahs from the large creative contingent in the audience. And then the real treat: a preview of several scenes from the upcoming James Cameron movie, Avatar, in 3-D, introduced by Jon Landau. Very impressive! Definitely one to watch when it comes out in the middle of December. As we filed out, we picked up CDs containing ColdFusion 9, ColdFusion Builder Beta 2, Flash Builder 4 Beta 2 and Flash Catalyst Beta 2 so no need to download anything (thankfully!). I spent the rest of the day at the ColdFusion Unconference with talks by Scott Stroz (setting up a local development environment), Dan Wilson (AIR and CF9 integration), Mike Brunt (server monitoring, load testing and tuning). Some good stuff in each of those talks but attendance was lower than I expected (and much lower than last year). At 6pm the sponsor reception began with some pretty good food (and beer and wine of course). I think this was the first time I've ever done the "passport stamp" thing but the prizes are pretty good so it's worth a shot :) Then it was meet the team time. The CF team was very informal and mostly encouraged folks to eat pizza, drink beer and hang out for the first hour. I gather a lot of questions were asked in the second hour but I'd retired to the hotel by that point. Overall then, not as "wow!" as many previous keynotes and the conference as a whole seems more subdued and smaller in scale than the last few years. It'll be interesting to see what Tuesday's keynote brings...

Tags: adobemax09

Improving ColdFusion Open Source Software

October 02, 2009 ·

One of the common complaints I hear about ColdFusion's popularity (or perceived lack thereof) is that we don't have any of the 'killer' open source applications that make PHP (or insert language of choice) so popular. If you look around at great open source applications (MediaWiki, Drupal, Wordpress, Apache, OpenOffice, Linux, Firefox etc), they all have a few things in common:
  • A dedicated team of developers - and documentation authors and testers and so on
  • An organization that helps with project logistics, community management, marketing and so on
  • Financial support of some form - usually in terms of sponsorship for infrastructure, sometimes in terms of actually paying people to work on the project
In the CF community, we have none of these. A handful of open source projects have a small team of developers, rather than being just a lone developer. Some projects have infrastructure (e.g., Trac/SVN) donated by a company - and that includes RIAForge and any of the source code hosting companies that offer free plans for open source projects. What if an organization existed to help open source CFML projects grow? What if that organization could offer infrastructure, assistance with project logistics and marketing, and could help marshal volunteers to encourage better documentation and testing and so on? That's the idea behind the For ColdFusion Foundation. 4CFF was announced at CFUnited as a incorporated, non-profit organization with a board of directors in place and a set of bylaws based on the Apache Foundation. The goal of 4CFF is:
The For ColdFusion Foundation (4CFF) is a non-profit dedicated to helping the ColdFusion Community at-large through fostering a collaborative environment for ColdFusion Free Open-Source Software Projects and their Developer Communities, so that we all may enjoy great software.
Since CFUnited, 4CFF has been working on logistics and is close to announcing the first two open source projects that will be moving under the 4CFF umbrella. It's early days for the foundation but you can read more about the concepts behind it and the people involved on the 4CFF website and you can follow announcements on Twitter. You can join the foundation's free membership mailing list or send your thoughts to the foundation, via the 4CFF website. If you're at MAX, quite a few of the board will be there and you can ask your questions in person. Look for the Space Chimps!

Tags: 4cff · adobemax09 · coldfusion · oss

Adobe MAX 2009 - More for Less

September 22, 2009 ·

I Twittered a while back that I'd decided to go to MAX after all, on an exhibit hall pass for just $200. I didn't go into much detail but now that it's beginning to be promoted on Twitter - by Liz Frederick, now of Adobe, and others - I figured it was worth a blog post. The $200 exhibit hall pass gets you into a lot more things than you might realize. You get access to the exhibit hall (duh!) which means you get access to the Unconferences as well - which is pretty good value on its own. In addition, you get access to:
  • The sponsor welcome reception (Monday evening)
  • The Adobe Keynotes (Monday and Tuesday)
  • The Birds of a Feather sessions (Mon/Tue/Wed lunchtimes)
Frankly, $200 for the ColdFusion Unconference alone was the killer for me and what made my decision to attend. Access to the keynotes and BOFs is gravy - and very welcome! I think Adobe have made a very smart decision making this option available, especially with the economy the way it is. Hopefully a lot of CFers - especially local to LA - will be tempted by this ticket and take advantage of what is really very good value!

Tags: adobemax09 · coldfusion

More ColdFusion Conferences!

June 22, 2009 ·

October will be a treat for ColdFusion (and Flex) developers! Adobe MAX happens in early October down in Los Angeles, then Dan Wilson and friends are organizing a North Carolina ColdFusion conference in mid-October followed by BFusion/BFlex organized by Bob Flynn and friends (I believe this will be a week after the NC conference). Then you can have a month of down time before the next RIAdventure Cruise'n'Conference in December. This year organizer Joshua Cyr has teamed up with the 360 Conference team to make the event even bigger and better!

Tags: 360flex · adobemax09 · coldfusion

How current are conferences?

June 15, 2009 ·

As I've been working on my Living in the Cloud talk for CFUnited (since I didn't have to complete it for Scotch on the Rocks), it occurred to me that this is a topic covering stuff I worked on in the middle of 2008 (Broadchoice Workspace, built for Amazon EC2 and S3) and the end of 2008 (migrating Broadchoice Workshop to Amazon EC2). Conferences usually want topics submitted a long way in advance of the conference, even tho' drafts and the final version of the talk can be delivered just before the conference. CFUnited 2009's deadline for topic submissions was December 1st, 2008, eight months ahead of the conference. MAX 2009 opened its call for speakers on March 3rd 2009 and closed it in late April, six months ahead of the conference. Conferences set deadlines far in advance so that they can offer a good roster of speakers and talks because that's what attracts attendees. I've been on the advisory for a number of conferences and getting a schedule out early is key in the battle to boost registration. Our industry moves very fast. Something that's hot in the Fall may not be on anyone's radar today. Something that's hot today may be old, old news by the Fall. Conference committees have to guess what will be attractive, many months in advance - which is extremely hard! And yet, one of the biggest complaints we hear about conferences is when they have the same topics every year - which is a natural consequence of trying to fill the schedule so early: how many brand new topics can you think of off the top of your head? How do you feel about conference schedules? Do you feel they manage to stay ahead of the curve? Do you think there's too much "safe" content? Do you have suggestions for how conference committees can balance the need to publish a schedule so folks will buy tickets against the desire to feature bleeding edge topics? Do you think I'm too concerned about this - and that maybe there's no real issue here?

Tags: adobemax09 · cfobjective · cfunited09 · coldfusion

Adobe MAX 2009

March 27, 2009 ·

Ted Patrick has posted an update on MAX 2009 where he confirms that MAX North America will be Los Angeles, October 4-7, but there will be no separate European event this year (no word on a Japanese event yet). However, in addition to the live, in-person event, he hints that "MAX will take place ... online" and says Adobe "will be taking the online experience to the next level." Given the huge audience for MAX 2008 sessions on AdobeTV, this is an interesting development. I've only been to one MAX Europe (Barcelona in 2007) and, for me, it was a better experience than MAX North America because it was a smaller, more intimate affair and I actually went to sessions nearly all the time (it's where I learned most of my Flex / AIR theoretical skills). But it wasn't a great networking opportunity in the same way the North American version has always been. For me, the biggest benefit of attending MAX has always been the networking and I often do not attend many sessions. Being able to watch them after the fact was great. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out for 2009.

Tags: adobe · adobemax09

MAX 2009 Call for Speakers opens!

March 03, 2009 ·

Got an idea for a session at MAX 2009? (in Los Angeles, October 4-7) Submit it through this page on Adobe Groups.

Tags: adobe · adobemax09